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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

130               Handel and Music

conceivable discord may be taken unprepared. We have
grown so used to this now that we think nothing of it, still,
whenever it can be done without sacrificing something more
important, I think even a dominant seventh is better pre-
pared.

It is only the preparation, however, of discords which is
now less rigorously insisted on ; their resolution—generally
by the climbing down of the offending note—is as necessary
as ever if the music is to flow on smoothly.

This holds good exactly in our daily life. If a discord has
to be introduced, it is better to prepare it as a concord, take
it on a strong beat, and resolve it downwards on a weak one.
The preparation being often difficult or impossible may be
dispensed with, but the resolution is still de rigueur.

Anachronism

It has been said " Thou shalt not masquerade in costumes
not of thine own period/' but the history of art is the history
of revivals. Musical criticism, so far as I can see, is the least
intelligent of the criticisms on this score. Unless a man
writes in the exotic style of Brahms, Wagner, Dvorak and
I know not what other Slav, Czech, Teuton or Hebrew, the
critics are sure to accuse him of being an anachronism. The
only man in England who is permitted to write in a style
which is in the main of home growth is the Irish Jew, Sir
Arthur Sullivan. If we may go to a foreign style why may
we not go to one of an earlier period ? But surely we may do
whatever we like, and the better we like it the better we shall
do it. The great thing is to make sure that we like the style
we choose better than we like any other, that we engraft on
it whatever we hear that we think will be a good addition,
and depart from it wherever we dislike it. If a man does this
he may write in the style of the year one and he will be no
anachronism ; the musical critics may call him one but they
cannot make him one.

Chapters in Music

The analogy between literature, painting and music, so
close in so many respects, suggests that the modern custom